Cantique Lepreux - Cendres Celeste
Atmospheric Black Metal
7 songs (36'02")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

I can safely call myself a fan of Quebecois black metal school since I enjoyed just about every album I have heard from bands coming from this French Canadian province. Somehow music from the likes of Grimoire, Forteresse and Neige et Noirceur struck a chord with me, because it always happened to carry a right balance between coldness, despondency, melodicism and captivating potential. Cantique Lepreux, who apparently share members with Chasse-Galerie and Forteresse, can be considered a fortified, slightly more muscular take on the Quebecois black metal, which, in my eyes, made for a very positive listening experience.

After cold overdriven synth chords create a fog setting atmosphere on Introduction, Le froid lepreux wastes no time to go on an expansive trip, driven by a massive drum sound, with guitars carrying distinct melody through a series of inspiring stirring chords. Cantique Lepreux enjoy playing their juicy melodies with gusto (Le froid lepreux and La Meute), and one can even call them life affirming, despite the song titles hinting at sadder subjects. Aroused to the flow of its own soul piercing melodies, Blanc Feu’s vocals are somewhat muffled, desperate, coming as if from the end of the tunnel from which there is actually a lit exit. Cantique Lepreux are certainly atmospheric, but they are also hopeful, not entirely depressing, with the aforementioned atmosphere created mostly by the power of the drumkit, an album’s bedrock, and melodies always coming to logical conclusions. Cantique Lepreux even engage in a fair amount of soloing (Le froid lepreux and especially Transis), an unusual feature for this style.

There is further variety in the songs. L’adieu puts on a brief temporary thrashing façade before plunging into anguish. Tourments des limbes glacials features an acoustic guitar opening, and is just a touch more deliberate for the first 2.5 minutes, allowing the band a chance to revel in their assertive tremolos before double bass begins to dominate. The closer La Mangeur d’os, on the other hand, is a more grieving tragic waltz, eating away corrosively from within.

Replaying melodic parts, like the 2:30 on moment in La Meute or the second half of Le froid lepreux is what brought the most delight for me on Cendres Celestes, with those songs making it onto my “Songs of the Month” list. This is a very good album if you are not only after blood or total misery with your black metal pursuits.

Killing Songs :
,i>Le froid lepreux, La Meute
Alex quoted 85 / 100
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